Definition of shirtwaist in US English:



North American
  • 1A woman's blouse that resembles a shirt.

    • ‘Her shirtwaist style top was a mint green, the soft pastel bringing out her eyes as she slipped on a simple brown skirt, finishing the ensemble with a fine leather belt.’
    • ‘Her shirtwaist and flowing skirt, easy to manufacture and appropriate to different classes, resembled a man's suit.’
    1. 1.1 A woman's dress with a seam at the waist, its bodice incorporating a collar and buttons in the style of a shirt.
      • ‘Teenagers and young women worked at sewing machines in crowded rows, the aisles blocked by piles of highly flammable grass linen, a popular fabric for making shirtwaist dresses.’
      • ‘She appeared in a stiff shirtwaist, her soft hair piled into a chignon, topped by a big plumed hat.’
      • ‘Choose jackets, tailored suits and shirtwaist dresses with straight, classic cuts.’
      • ‘Inger stood, too, smoothing her snowy apron over her soft blue shirtwaist.’
      • ‘For the doctor visit, Mother wears plastic Shasta daisies clipped to her small ears and her shirtwaist dress is sky-blue like her eyes and eye shadow.’
      • ‘Maybe it was their shirtwaist dresses and comfortable shoes and tight perms that made all of them look old.’
      • ‘It was difficult to button her shirtwaist, so she left the collar undone.’